Women empowerment and sustainable development

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course aims at offering students a wide spectrum of issues surrounding women underrepresentation in the public sphere.
Through an investigation of the concept of women' rights, gender, equality and non-discrimination, the course attempts to provide students with the tools for a better understanding of the complexity and controversies that surround women's presence in the society.
The case-law analysis of the Italian Constitutional Court, the European Court of Human Rights as well as of that of the European Court of Justice, the Human Rights Committee and the US Supreme Court will therefore allow students to engage in the challenges that are nowadays facing State towards the path to gender equality
Expected learning outcomes
Understanding the basic notions of gender, women's rights, equality and non-discrimination in both constitutional and international human rights law;
Learning the gaps, the conflicts, and the ambiguities in the States' approach to gender equality and non-discrimination irrespective of sex;
Learning the gaps and the conflicts behind the claim for fostering women's presence in the public sphere;
Learning critical tools to investigate and analyse the case-law of the Italian Constitutional Court, the ECtHR, the European Union Court of Justice and the United Nations Human Rights Committee;
Understanding the current controversies through a legal perspective.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
Course syllabus
The course aims at covering one of the most crucial challenge in our democracy, that is the role and the presence of women in society and, in particular, in pivotal roles as well as in politics.
Women conquered the public sphere just in the last century and the conquest of women's suffrage was in fact a cross-border and very long process. In Italy, women voted for the very first time only in 1946. The Italian Constitution of 1948 established the principle of equality between men and woman but until a few years ago women's presence in politics and, more generally, in the public sphere was insufficient.
Through the concrete analysis of the Italian and the international constitutional framework, the course aims at offering elements to reason on and to discuss about the main problems and cases which determined a development as far as women presence in the public institutions is concerned. The key question regards the admissibility and/or the utility of mechanisms to foster women presence, by tackling discrimination, such as quotas and similar measures directed to guarantee women's presence in institutions and in representative assemblies.
Another important part of the course will deal with the relationship between women and the economic sphere. The course will therefore undergo the examination of italian Law no. 120 of 2011, which represents an inspiring model to overcome the underrepresentation of women at least in Europe, as well as the investigation of models adopted in other European countries accordingly to quasi-comparative approach. One more significant issue has to do with the presence of women in the legal profession: within the italian legal system some legislative measures have been recently adopted to tackle women underrepresentation in the judiciary.
Part two of the course will then focus on the existing link between sustainable development as applied to human rights discourse, by looking at cases concerning aboriginal women living in closed communities and their relationship with western law culture.
This specific focus will enable students to verify the limits and the impact of policies in favour of women in contexts embracing different values that nevertheless reproduce hierarchical model of relationship between men and women similar to those known and analysed in western law countries. This part of the program will feature a high-level comparative approach.
Together with a focus on the domestic Italian model, the course will embrace a supranational perspective, allowing students to confront themselves with national and supranational system of rights protection as well as with non-italian experience on women' rights.
All the issues addressed in the course will therefore be investigated in an opened and diverse perspective, touching upon the Italian legal system response, without leaving behind other European Countries' experiences as well as the International Human Rights bodies' case-law.

Part One:
· Clues on women's presence in the Italian legal system: the Constitutional Assembly path to equality between men and women and the constitutional provisions on equality and non-discrimination
· The Italian Constitutional Court's equality jurisprudence and the so-called scrutiny of ragionevolezza
· Women's Rights in international human rights law: a preliminary overview between Charters and means of protection
· Enforcing Women's Rights through Regional Treaties: the European Court Convention of Human Rights
· The Human Rights Committee's jurisprudence on gender equality and its tests for equal protection analysis

Part Two:
Selected Topics:
· Women & Politics between quotas and equality
· Women & the Labor Market
· The Economic Sphere
· Women, Legal Professions and the Judiciary Power
· Empowerment and Vulnerable Groups: the case of Indigenous Women
Prerequisites for admission
Basic knowledge of constitutional and/or public law
Teaching methods
Analysis of case-law; Interactive method; active participation of students through oral presentations
Teaching Resources
During the course, in order to properly prepare for in-class oral presentations, students will be provided with additional study material and case-law that will be regularly uploaded and updated on the Ariel Platform.

The following readings are strongly recommended for both attending and non-attending students:
1. S. DELLER ROSS, Women's Human Rights. The International and Comparative Law Casebook, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013.
2. M.L. MINOW, D.E. ROBERTS, J.G. GREENBERG, L. CROOMS, L.S. ADLER (eds.), Women and the Law, New York Foundation Press, 2008.
3. P. PROFETA, L. ALIBERTI, A. CASARICO, M. D'AMICO, A. PUCCIO, Women Directors. The Italian Way and Beyond, Palgrave, 2014.
4. M. D'AMICO, Perspectives on Political Participation, Human Security and 'Gender Education': the Italian Case (from the Equality Deficit to the Challenges of Multiuculturalism), in M. TSUJIMURA (ed.), International Perspectives on Gender Equality & Social Diversity, Gender Law & Policy Center, Tohoku University Press, 2008.
5. E. STAMATOPOLOU, Taking Cultural Rights Seriously: The Vision of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
6. J. BARKER, Gender, Sovereignty, and the Discourse of Rights in Native Women's Activism, in Meridians, Vol. 7, no. 1, 2006, 127.
7. A. XANTHAKI, S. ALLEN (eds.), Reflections on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, Oxford Publishing, 2011.
Assessment methods and Criteria
· Attending students:
in-class presentations or written paper and oral exam.
The oral presentation will consist of an illustration of a selected case provided by professors.

Non-attending students: oral exam.
The written paper will consist of a brief analysis of a topic addressed in class.
IUS/08 - CONSTITUTIONAL LAW - University credits: 6
Lessons: 42 hours